Last week, after reading 'Mike, Me and a Final Coincidence,' my sister reminded me that I had introduced her to Mike Wallace in my office back in 1961. At the time, she and her husband were living on E. 58th Street between Lexington and 3rd in Midtown Manhattan. Mike asked where they lived, my sister told him, and he immediately told her that he had a friend living at 58th and 3rd Avenue. He said that his friend, an actress/singer was having a hard time, her career wasn't going very well and she had few friends. He asked if they would call her, take her to dinner, introduce her to other people and just make her feel more comfortable. The girl in question was Barbra Streisand and my brother-in-law and sister never helped her out, and she was left to make it on her own devices.
Remembering that Mike had interviewed Barbra on 60 Minutes, I went to YouTube and found the piece titled Barbra Streisand crying -- Mike Wallace Interview. Mike reminds Barbra of their 1961 friendship, but never mentions his protective instincts. Instead, in typical 60 Minute tough guy style, he tells her that she is "self-absorbed" and goes on to say that she was self-absorbed even when he knew her 30 years ago.
I'm sorry that my sister didn't do anything for Barbra back then, I wish she had. I was impressed that back in 1961 Mike really wanted to help her, that was the Mike I knew. But 30 years later, with Barbra, still so vulnerable, Mike found it necessary to make her cry.
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